Education providers must cultivate an enduring and rewarding partnership with whanau (extended families) for the larger benefit of the society, simultaneously enriching individual lives and careers, a minister has said.
Tariana Turia, Associate Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, said that it was important to acknowledge the life experiences of students and encourage them to create an appropriate and conducive environment for promoting their intellectual and academic achievements among others in families and communities.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the New Zealand Career College (NZCC) at Dorothy Winstone Centre in Auckland Girls Grammar School on October 27, she said that each graduate faced the task of developing a learning community that challenges students to realise their greatest potential.
About 400 students from a number of disciplines including Early Childhood Education (ECE), Health Care Support and Business obtained their diplomas at the graduation ceremony.
The College accounts for 800 students spread across six campuses in Auckland and Christchurch with 80 staff.
NZCC recently announced that its Wellington Campus would become operational early next year.
Ms Turia had a special message for Diploma graduates in ECE.
“The greatest gift that you can offer a child is quality experience, such that they might go on and repeat those experiences for their own children. I believe that the first role of a whanau is to nurture tamariki (children) and mokopuna (grandchildren) within that whanau. I also believe that Early Childhood Centres are secondary support to the primacy of the whanau as the main guardian of a child’s upbringing and nurturing,” she said.
According to her, while education plays an important role in the lives of people, individuals connected to families must determine the best way forward.
“The education paradigm within which we explore our theories and test our thinking is one that is posited in the main from within a non-Maori worldview.
Ms Turia praised the efforts of NZCC in creating individual learning plans for each student and said that the institution’s fresh graduates must reflect on their long journey.
“This is a testament to your tenacity, drive to do the hard yards and complete your qualifications. Those of you graduating will be excited at the prospect of your bright future, and relieved that all the hard work is over,” she said.
“I am particularly pleased with the high numbers of Pacific students at higher levels at the NZCC.”